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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

glory by dying for his country in the Battle of Arras,
and we who marched past him had an excellent
chance of following his example.

We took over an old German reserve trench (cap-
tured on Easter Monday). Company Headquarters
was a sort of rabbit-hole, just wide enough to accom-
modate Leake, a tiny stove, and myself. Leake occu-
pied himself in enlarging it with a rusty entrenching
tool. When dusk was falling I went out to the under-
ground dressing-station to get my festering fingers
attended to. I felt an interloper, for the place was
crowded with groaning wounded. As I made my way
back to our trench a few shells exploded among the
ruinous remains of brickwork. All this, I thought, is
disgustingly unpleasant, but it doesn't really count as
war experience. I knew that if I could get the better
of my physical discomforts I should find the War in-
tensely interesting. B Company hadn't arrived at the
groaning stage yet; in fact, they were grimly cheerful,
though they'd only had one meal that day and the
next was to-morrow morning. Leake and I had one
small slice of ration bacon between us; I was frizzling
my fragment when it fell off the fork and disappeared
into the stove. Regardless of my unfortunate fingers
I retrieved and ate it with great relish.

The night was cold and sleep impossible, since there
was no space to lie down in. Leake, however, had a
talent for falling asleep in any position. Chiselling
away at the walls by candlelight, I kept myself warm,
and in a couple of hours I had scooped out sufficient
space for the other two officers. They were a well con-
trasted couple. Rees was a garrulous and excitable
little Welshman; it would be flattery to call him any-
thing except uncouth, and he made no pretensions to
being "a gentleman". But he was good-natured and